This morning, we found a new heifer calf curled up in a corner of the calving paddock. She’d been licked clean but judging by her tucked up sides, she hadn’t had a drink. Why not? Her mum was nowhere to be seen. This is not uncommon – cows often leave their calves in remote spots while they go off to have a feed or a drink, so we got the calf up and tried to attract the mother cow’s attention with our best imitation of plaintive-sounding calf noises (not “moo” but something like “mmmmbeaaaaargh”).
Two aunties immediately rushed over. We call cows that haven’t calved but would love to steal someone else’s poddy an “aunty” and they can be exceedingly convincing. Not this time. They still had bulging bellies and no sign that anything had been recently stretched (IYKWIM). The mother was clearly not particularly maternal and was still waiting for her milk to come in properly.
The only thing to do was to organise a line-up. Cows due to calve within the next three weeks get a daily ration of grain that is half what they’ll get when they rejoin the herd in the dairy, so we spread their breakfast out and did an inspection. Who do you think it was?
6 thoughts on “Which of these cows is the mother?”
I’m going to go with 3rd from the right…
Bit Trick Maid Marian
Best guess cow 4 or 9 starting from the left
Clover Hill takes the prize! Cow 248 (fourth from the left) is the one. At 13 years old, this cow is wily and I think she’d decided simply not to own up.
Oh – thats unfair. I’m not a farmer its hard for me! Surely I get some sort of consolation prize?
Ah yes, well, there is the matter of the “prize”. It’s all about the thrill of anticipation, I guess!
Better still Marian how about we make the prize a life skill lesson for Robbie
Robbie its all about the boobs in this case. Cows 4 and 9 are the only two who have any “bloom in the udders” ie they look like they have enough milk to feed a calf.